People often ask me what I do with the little girls while I school Madeline. My first instinct is to say that I lock them in a closet. But I don't know if they would think that is funny or appalling.
The first thing we do for school is have "table time." We all sit at the dining room table to read our Bible lesson, pray, work on scripture memory,and sing. Then Lydia and Anna go to the small kitchen table for their "activity." They work on their activity for however long they like. Some days they may be there for two minutes, other days they will be occupied for forty minutes. When they are done with their activity, they go down to the play room in the basement to play. They are suppose to stay down there until I call them for snack time. During this time, I do the most intensive school work with Madeline: math and classical conversations. After snack, we do our language arts work while the littles run around. During the littles' nap time in the afternoon, we do history or science. Lydia often joins us for this because it is mainly reading good stories.
I wish I could say that it always works out as nice as it sounds here. It doesn't. Often times, I teach while nursing Cora or mediating a brawl between Lydia and Anna. However, the little girls know what the routine is and know when they should be busy. By following this routine of starting the day, they do give Mommy and Madeline time to get some of the "hard stuff" done like math and memory work. After that, it is easy to get Madeline started on a worksheet or self directed study while I tend to other motherly duties. Hence, home centered education is centered around our home and all its lovely inhabitants.
(Be sure to check in tomorrow for more discussion on just what the "activity" for the littles may be. I need your help.)